STANBANK:  18,348   +445 (+2.49%)  23/09/2018 00:00

South Africa's rand firms as U.S. jobs data hits dollar

* Rand advances after meek U.S. jobs data

* Stocks fall as risk aversion drags the bourse (Adds latest prices, analyst quotes, stock prices)

JOHANNESBURG, July 6 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand firmed on Friday after U.S. employment data disappointed dollar bulls, while stocks took a hit from fears about the beginning of a U.S.-China trade war.

At 1315 GMT the rand was 0.48 percent firmer at 15.4750 per dollar, its firmest since June 26.

Traders said resistance level around 13.50 was attracting buyers, and that a close beneath the level would open the door to 13.20, but the long term bet remained in favour of the dollar.

"Once the rand traded below 13.75 it was bound to trade stronger, and the weaker than expected nonfarm payrolls added to the flow," said trader at Rand Merchant Bank Jan Sluis-Cremer.

"But we really need a close below 13.55, 13.60 levels to move stronger. It's going to be a slow, hard grind and we'll need a lot of factors to be in the rand's favour."

While the U.S. economy created more jobs than expected in June, a closely-watched inflation gauge -- wage growth -- rose less than forecast, further dampening fears its central bank would raise rates more than the four times promised by the bank.

Bonds also firmed, with the yield on the benchmark paper due in 2026 falling 7 basis points to 8.66 percent, its lowest in a month.

Shares fell for a second straight session amid the renewed trade-war dispute between the United States and China.

The benchmark Top-40 index lost 0.14 percent to 51,122 points while the broader All-share index was down 0.17 percent to 57,313 points.

"The U.S. went ahead with the tariffs. There are worries that there will be counter tariffs from China. Russia has also imposed capital goods which has affected our stocks like Barloworld. The market is locking in their profits ahead of the weekend," said Cratos Capital equities trader Greg Davies.

Barloworld closed down at 4.80 percent to 124 rand.

The banking index fell 1.77 percent with Standard Bank falling by the most at 2.57 percent to 192.00 rand. (Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana and Nomvelo Chalumbira Editing by Joe Brock)

2018-07-06 17:55:34

© 2018 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved. Reuters content is the intellectual property of Thomson Reuters or its third party content providers. Any copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. "Reuters" and the Reuters Logo are trademarks of Thomson Reuters and its affiliated companies.